by Danny Tariman
“Then repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God.” (Matthew 22:21)
“Danny, but your taxes just go to the pockets of corruption.” This was my boss telling me when I decided to be fully taxed.
As a manager, I have some perks. Aside from the big salary and other benefits, I am also allowed to declare a sizable percentage of my income as ‘office expense’. I am just required to submit Official Receipts – for gas, for dining, for hotel accommodations, and even for some select grocery items – to cover these ‘expenses’.
When I comply with the submission of receipts, this ‘office expense’ portion of my salary is non-taxable. And therefore, I am able to take home much bigger amount.
However, I was not at peace. I am disturbed by the fact that the receipts that I submit are sometimes not my real expenses; I solicited the receipts from friends. Worse, the receipts are at times altered by padding zeroes to increase the expense!
In whatever way this is done, it is still not acceptable for me as these were not really official office expenses. This is plain dishonesty.
And so, after prayers and discernment, I decided to surrender this “perk” and ask my boss that I be fully taxed.
I remember telling my boss “between me and my God, I did what is right. For the corrupt officer who pockets these, it will be between him and his god”.
I felt relieved, I feel freedom! As John 8:32 says “the truth will set you free”.
Few months later, whatever amount I ‘lost’ because I was fully taxed, was compensated by a huge salary increase I got!
Reflection: Do you pay your taxes correctly? Is your bookkeeping in order in the sight of God?
Prayers: Am sorry Lord for falling to the traps of deception. Give me the strength to live out the truth in all areas of my life. Amen.